Wigs

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(@mistressb)
Trusted Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Joined: 2 weeks ago

When browsing images of transwomen / crossdressers I come across a number of images where the lady in question is wearing a wig. Sometimes it is very obvious and at other extremely difficult to tell. I have never found a guide for transwomen on how to select a "good" wig and maintain it, so I thought I would compile a guide from other sources and my own experience and put it all together, and this is it.

Buying a wig can be quite tricky because there are so many different types and a huge price range available. While some wigs create an amazingly natural look, others clearly look like synthetic hairpieces. The following attempts to provide some of the key elements involved in choosing a wig that will give the wearer the most natural look possible. The following three elements represent the key factors  when selecting the correct wig.

Disclaimer: this guide will not cover price at all. I have seen some great low cost wigs that look great on the wearer however as a general rule you need to invest a reasonable amount if you want a well made good looking wig that is going to last a reasonable length of time.

Normally cheap wigs fit badly, look obvious and prevent anyone from passing.
Back to those three factors. They are Facial Shape, Sizing and Age of the Wearer.

Facial Shape

Selecting a wig that compliments the shape of the wearer's face is critically important. Different wig styles suit different face shapes. Choosing an incompatible style can make it rather obvious that the user is wearing a wig, whereas choosing the correct style can create a very natural look, minimizing the likelihood that other people will suspect the user is wearing a wig. To properly determine the shape of the face, users should stand in front of a mirror and pull their hair back, looking at the whole face from the hairline to the chin to better gauge the facial shape.

Diamond-Shaped Face

Those with a diamond-shaped face have broad, high cheekbones, a narrower forehead, and a narrow, pointed chin. A diamond-shaped face is quite versatile when it comes to selecting an appropriate wig style. To get the most natural and complementary look for this facial shape, users should select a wig with volume across the forehead to add width to this narrow area. Shoulder-length styles, bobs, or tuck-behind-the-ears styles add width to the narrow lower face and chin. Ideally, to draw attention to the high cheekbones characteristic of this facial shape, the wig should be styled close to the head at this point. Wigs styled with lots of layers add volume and movement.

Heart-Shaped Face

Individuals with heart-shaped faces have a wide forehead that tapers into a very narrow chin. Wigs with fringes or bangs help to disguise the width of the forehead. Styles with volume around the lower jaw will provide a balanced look, making the chin seem more proportionate to the forehead. Long hair also works well with the heart-shaped facial structure, particularly if multiple layers are worked into the style, with feathering around the lower jaw, as this again creates the illusion of a well-balanced face.

Oval-Shaped Face

Of all the facial shapes, the oval structure is the most versatile when it comes to suitable wig styles because it is uniform and well proportioned. Really any style of wig, whether long, short, straight, or curly, works equally well to create a natural, stylish look.

Round-Shaped Face

People with rounded faces have soft, rounded chins and hairlines. With this structure, the face is widest across the cheeks, and the face from hairline to chin is quite short. Suitable wig styles include any that help create the appearance of a longer, more balanced face. Long, layered styles, those with an off-center parting, and short hair styles with volume at the top of the head but less volume close to the face are ideal wig options for individuals with fuller countenances.

Pear-Shaped Face

Pear-shaped faces are characterized by a wide, rounded chin and a comparatively narrow forehead. For a natural, appealing look, the idea is to select a wig that will take the focus away from the chin. This can be achieved by selecting short, cropped styles with a full, angled fringe or bangs. Another option is to choose a short style that has a voluminous crown and is closely cropped around the rest of the face.

Square-Shaped Face

The square-shaped facial structure includes a short face with a strong jaw, a straight chin, and a straight hairline. Like round-faced individuals, those with square-shaped faces want to elongate their countenance and give added shape and proportion. This can be accomplished by purchasing wigs similar to those previously recommended for round-shaped users. Additionally, wigs with feathers or wispy bangs can be worn to soften the overall appearance.

Oblong-Shaped Face

Wigs that create the illusion of added width to the face are ideal for people with oblong-shaped faces, who characteristically have a long, straight face with a square jaw and hairline. Jaw- or shoulder-length styles work well, particularly those with waves, curls, or lots of layering. Long wig styles with feathering around the face can also work to enhance the wearer's overall appearance.

Sizing

In addition to being very uncomfortable, wigs that are too large or too small for the wearer tend to look noticeably artificial. The construction of the cap, while seeming relatively insignificant, is actually one of the most important aspects of choosing a wig with a natural look.

Determining the correct wig size is essential when purchasing a natural-looking wig. Often, a hairpiece that is too big clearly looks like a wig, and the wearer may even worry about its slipping off because of its looseness. Similarly, a wig that is too small looks just as fake as a large one. They are also uncomfortably tight and can cause sore spots from their restrictive fit.

To select the correct size, users should measure around their heads from their hairline at the forehead, behind the ears, and around the nape of the neck. They should then measure from the hairline, over the top of the head, to the base of the head at the back. The third measurement that needs to be taken is from ear to ear, over the top of the head. Using these three measurements and the table below will allow users to select the most appropriate wig size. Because not everyone fits into the same pigeon holes when it comes to sizing, some individuals may not find a size that perfectly matches all three of their measurements. In this case, the user should select the wig size that fits the largest measurement.

Size of Wig

Inches Around the Hairline

Inches from Front Hairline to Base of Head

Inches from
Ear to Ear

Mini Petite (MP)

20 3/4

12 3/4

12 3/4

Petite (P)

21

13 1/4

13

Average (A)

21 1/2

14 1/4

13 1/2

Large (L)

23

15 1/4

14

Extra Large (XL)

23 3/4

16 1/4

14 1/2

Cap Construction

Many mistakenly think that the method of cap construction is inconsequential because the cap sits against the head on the inside of the wig and is not clearly visible. However, the construction of the cap is actually a highly important factor when choosing a natural-looking wig. A poorly constructed wig or one with a less favourable construction method will end up looking like a wig despite its proper style and sizing. On the other hand, a good-quality, well-constructed wig often looks like a full head of natural hair. The cap construction method also impacts the user's ability to style the wig.

Traditional Wefts

A traditional weft cap is made from multiple thin strips of material that run from ear to ear. Synthetic hair is usually stitched onto these strips by machine, although some hand-sewn examples can be found. The hair all runs in the same direction, and there are multiple layers that simulate a natural head of hair. It should be noted, however, that these wigs cannot be restyled at all, and the external part of the cap fails to mimic a human scalp. Therefore, these traditional wefts should only be purchased by those who do not wish to restyle their wigs, and users ought to pick a style that does not show the scalp.

Open Cap Wefts

Open cap wefts are similar to the traditional weft. The wig is much lighter than traditional weft wigs because there are fewer stitched wefts and more space between each one, allowing for greater airflow, which helps to keep the head cool. Open weft caps are popular with those who wear wigs for long periods. Most open wefts are attached with an appropriate adhesive, such as medical tape, or clips. There are some high-end models that use an elasticized material to form the cap, which helps to keep the wig in place without adhesives or clips, and some have adjustable straps or velcro fasteners inside to modify the size.

Hand-Stitched Monofilament Caps

Monofilament construction is very different from that of traditional and open cap wefts. It is the most natural looking of all the construction methods and gives the appearance of an actual scalp when the hair is parted or styled. Every single strand of hair is pushed through the cap and knotted into place by hand. Because of the intensive, painstaking, and time-consuming construction of this type of wig, a monofilament wig is more expensive than other types.

To reduce the expense, it is possible to buy a part-monofilament cap. The hand-tied part is usually around the top of the head, or the crown and fringe, so that this portion of the wig can be used to create different styles. Part-monofilament caps are less expensive than whole-monofilament caps. Individuals with sensitive scalps can purchase a monofilament cap with a second layer of mesh covering the knotted hairs, which prevents irritation from occurring.

Lace Caps

Lace cap wigs allow users to style the wig away from the front of their face so that they appear to have an actual hairline. Lace cap fronts are commonly combined with monofilament caps. This combination is the most expensive kind of wig, but it creates the most natural look, has the appearance of a scalp and a hairline, and can be easily styled while maintaining the appearance of a natural head of hair.

Age of the Wearer

The key to wearing wigs and passing has to do with blending in. Whilst the more mature lady may have long hair it is not the norm and often draws unwanted attention.  The key here is sit down in a large public traffic area and observe the women passing by that look close at those of your own age. What length and hair style do they have? Which of these styles do you like? Do they have your same facial shape?
Finally try to take a few stealth photos for later reference and styling if you choose to have that done.

Conclusion

When deciding which wig will provide the most natural-looking style, there are several factors to take into consideration. The last thing a transwoman wants is a wig that is too tight, feels uncomfortable, causes chafing, or slips off the head because it does not fit correctly. A wig that is too large looks odd and out of proportion, and it also poses the risk of slipping out of place. Choosing the right kind of style to match the wearer's face will create the most appealing look. The right style helps to balance the person's face and to ultimately make the hairpiece look less like a wig.

The method of construction is one of the most important factors in buying a wig that will look natural. Buyers should select the finest quality cap construction their budget will allow, and it may be possible to find a second-hand, high-end model in good condition, ask around you may be surprised what is available.

Hope this helps.
MistressB

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Posts: 16
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(@sashabennett)
Eminent Member     United Kingdom, Caithness
Joined: 4 days ago

A pretty comprehensive guide there, that should cover almost every question one could have. Thank you.

I have tried a few different styles (all from the same place) & the biggest thing I have found to be a dead giveaway, for me at least, is the colour. I started off with a couple of dark brown ones of different lengths both of which made me LOOK like a guy in a wig. Terrible, I hated them immediately.

Then Mrs B got me a selection for Christmas, one was a shoulder length wavy blonde which was a surprise, I never considered myself to be a blondie but it looked great. The other surprise was a pink bob which actually REALLY works, in fact it is my daily wear (channeling my inner Zandra Rhodes I guess) I also have a short blonde bob with a fringe which is my second favourite. None of these are expensive but the quality is surprisingly good at the price point. 

If, sorry, When, I look for more I will be sure to consider your advice

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Member
(@mistressb)
Joined: 2 weeks ago

Trusted Member     Australia, Queensland, Brisbane
Posts: 29

@sashabennett thanks Sasha, glad I could help. I cheated myself, found a great wig ( quite expensive) and dyed my hair to match. I'm afraid if I don't get a hair transplant I'm doomed to wear a wig for ever more. That being said, you get use to it. Good luck.

MistressB

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